Monday, October 24, 2011

Allez Grenoble!!!

On Sunday, a bunch of people went to the Grenoble Rugby match! It was really really fun! Rugby is a super violent sport but we all got really into it, the grenoblois are very passionate sport fans to say the least... there was yelling and drums and spitting, it was awesome! i like to think they won because of our super passionate support. i couldn't do much cheering as i have lost my voice but i did some pretty enthusiastic fist pumping and clapping! here are some pictures from the match!
Uly with the free clappers they gave us! they made A LOT of noise! and they were really fun! i saw some kids on the tram on my way home later that day with clappers and they were fencing with them!
they did this a lot... didn't quite understand the point but it was funny!
This was one of my favorite things they do! they lift up their team mates super duper high and they grab the ball! it's awesome!
My favorite player. number 4. he was a hefty boy. looks like he could literally take someone down literally by just bumping into them! he literally towered over everyone else too. awesome!

And that was the match of rugby! they won, 24-18 i believe, Allez Grenoble!!!!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cereal Picnic

So I know this is silly, two posts in less than an hour but i was just looking through pictures and found the pictures from our cereal picnic last weekend. In a effort to combat whatever home sickness we may be feeling, my friend michelle and i have these picnics of whatever food we happen to be craving. for a while it's been cereal cause it's not something you eat in france. but we found some classics and decided to have a picnic in the notre dame tram stop park! it was an excellent way to spend a saturday afternoon!
My picnic! honey nut cheerios, banana, apple, and nutella!
Here i am with my one true love: Nutella.
Michelle opening up the milk! the milk here is so weird. it's not kept in the fridge. so it just tastes off. and it's all whole milk so it's creamy... yuck. but it served it's purpose for our cereal picnic!
the leftovers from kait's cereal supply!
my personal jar of nutella kind of took a hit between me and michelle putting nutella on the brownies that emily's host mama had made for us for dessert!

Test week, French Style!

Hey everybody! Sorry for not posting sooner, it's been a bit of a rough week! In case you haven't noticed, I don't talk about school a super duper amount. It's not because i dislike it. i literally love my french professor more than i can even say. Oh Dominique. but this week they laid it on hard. i had three tests. and let me tell you, 6 weeks of not really having a ton of homework and absolutely no tests, takes a big chunk out of your drive to study. so it was challenging to say the least to try and study for three major tests. i managed to study some, but not to the extent i wanted. my first test was in my european union class and that was an essay response. with a major of environmental studies and french, it's been a while since i thought about life in a political science sort of view. so that was a fairly scattered essay response but i think that i managed to do alright. that professor, professor horton is awesome as well. he's british, and the class is my only class in english, but he sticks french in at the weirdest points possible. instead of pausing in his lecturing or saying umm or anything he says "bon" which is french for "well". and he does it a lot. it's slightly hilarious. next test was in my Vocabulary class. which i had missed the week before because of a strike that stopped all the trams and because i live a 35 minute tram ride away from school, there was no way for me to get there. which actually was really fun cause my friend sara and i were both unaware of the strike and live in the same area so once we realized there was no way to get anywhere, we went shopping and out to lunch. it was a lovely strike day even though it was really really really annoying at first. grenoble literally shuts down when strikes occur. and they literally strike right in the tram lines so there's no getting anywhere. but back to the test, it was hard, not a fun test at all. luckily i don't think it counts for anything really, it is more of a seeing where you're at sort of test. but that's still bad. last but not least, my french grammar test. that was a fun one. none of you who don't speak french will understand what i mean when i say this but oh my god, the passive tense is a horrible invention! it's illogical to me! it's so hard to try and think of the passive tense in english because i am sure that if i do use it that i use it without even being aware of it. and the passive tense in french is so hard for me for some reason. the formation is easy enough, it's just when to use it that is the pain in the butt. but it was fine overall, listened to one of our french songs whilst studying. i'll see if i can post a link to one of the songs that we learned in french class. go to this link---> and watch it. it's seriously awesome!! this is why i love Dominique. because he will teach us via strange french songs. it's a listening comprehension exercise! i just call it awesome. i have a playlist on my computer entitled Dominique. it's great.

So yeah, that was my test week, french style. not the funnest thing i have ever done but i've got a great weekend ahead of me so it's all good! i've got cheese tasting this afternoon, wine tasting festival all weekend in Victor Hugo park, rugby match on sunday, and just all the other fun adventures i am sure will happen this weekend! i also had a cooking class this week which was really really fun. made chocolate volcano cake. soooooo good. i love french cuisine.

so with that, i am going to go back to bed and take a nap and hopefully sleep off the cold i have. because if i can't sleep it off it means i have to go to the pharmacy and try and explain in french what is wrong with me. which i frankly don't feel like trying to do, cause lord knows what i could end up with! i've been chugging the orange juice, so hopefully the vitamin C will kick in soon! i'm missing my parents right now and their supply of TLC. so when you read this mom and dad, if you guys could fly to france with some sore throat meds that would be great thanks!

i hope you all have excellent weekends and check in soon for some pictures from this weekend! Ciao!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Windy Weekend in Provence

Bonjour!!! I write to tell you about the amazing weekend i just spent in Provence! it was a group trip taken with AIFS and we toured all over the region of Provence, such as Avignon, Arles, and Aix-En-Provence. We saw roman ruins, aqueducts, and markets. we went wine tasting before noon on a friday. we had adventures. it was super fun. true to my story telling through picture form i will tell the story of each photo below!!
We went to a castle ruins place called Chateau des Baux de Provence. it was awesome. literally a castle on top of a mountain hill. sweet. it was super windy however and literally almost blew me away a couple of times! they had old relics like this old catapult and trebuchets and archery ranges. it was pretty awesome. all i could think the whole time was how much my brother would have loved it! so i took a bunch of pictures to show him! they even had an old door ramming thing that they would use to break through castle doors. this thing i'm sitting on in this photo squeaked pretty intensely when i sat on it and i was mildly concerned for a second that it was going to break on me and i was somehow going to get thrown from it. which, however much of an adventure that would have been, i would have either landed on rock or flown off the side of the mountain and somehow i don't think that olive trees make a soft landing...
Me and my darling friend Michelle a top the other castle we visited. the Chateau du roi Rene a Tarascon. it was a legitimate castle which entertained me to pretty much no end. there were archery slits in the walls and places to dump boiling liquids out of on top on people attempting to storm your castle! it was also super windy here in case you can't tell from my shirt and hair in this photo. the minstrel winds as they are called are intense. they will literally blow for hours even days without relenting at all and then all of the sudden stop. it got fairly annoying after just a little time. if you live in this region i swear you cannot have long hair or wear dresses. you'd have to shave your head and wear pants all the time. slightly constricting.
Me and alex at the Pont d'Avignon. there was a part of the Pont that was too titanic to pass up this beautiful picture moment. i literally spent the next couple hours quoting the movie and being annoying with the "you jump i jump jack" or "never let go". what can i say? it's a epic and very quotable movie! and i could be kate winslet you never know. all i'd need is some super red hair! alright, getting off topic. the Pont was really beautiful. it used to be a bridge until half of it got worn away by the river and eventually washed away. at least that is what i got from the descriptions on the signs. they were in french so there is always a 50/50 chance sometimes...
More old roman architecture, we saw a lot of it this weekend! this is the Pont du Gard. it's also in Avignon and it's an aqueduct. and really really old. and while technically doesn't still work i am pretty sure it still could. cause it was in tip top shape. for a ruin it was amazing! i am super impressed with all of the old stuff europe has, i mean i know they're older than the US but i guess i just wasn't prepared to be in a place where there can be an old colosseum like thing in the middle of your city. and it's just there. there's newer buildings all around it and there's definitely older houses too but it just somehow all fits together perfectly in an old/new puzzle. i really like it. however this is me and alex wading into the river that ran underneath the Pont. it was actually quite warm for it being october. warmer than the saco in the summer sometimes!
Last but not least, but actually the first thing we did... WINE TASTING! we went to Chateauneuf -Du-Pape. it was wonderful. i mean it was 10:30 in the morning but it was still wonderful! we tried and white and a red wine. it was interesting to say the least. let's just say that people weren't kidding or joking around when the have movies with people trying wine. you are supposed to swirl it in the glass and then smell it and try and explain what you smell. which i still stand by all i smell is wine but some people were smelling apples and pears. which was interesting. i never smelt it. then you taste it. but just a little and you hold it in your mouth and try and say where you feel it. which was odd cause i just felt it wherever i had held it in my mouth! the white wine was exceptional and i bought a bottle for a present for my dear michael cline for his birthday! the red was really good too which is odd cause normally i can't stomach red wine, it's just too strong a taste. but this one was actually good! i could almost get people saying they tasted oak cause there was a tree like taste almost but i think it's probably just from the barrel it was fermented in or something. overall it was delightful and if you are ever in france and you get the chance to go to the chateauneuf-du-pape region i would go. and try some wine. it's fun and makes you feel super fancy. i don't think i'll be starting my career as a professional wine taster any time soon but oh well, it's still fun.

So that was some of the moments from this past weekend! it made me super pumped for our Paris outing in November! things to look forward too for this weekend: friday we're visiting a distillery that is run by monks who make a special type of liquor. so that'll be fun! on saturday me and Michelle are having a cereal picnic to eat cereal pretty much cause it's not something that i get to eat a lot of here. aka haven't had cereal since i got here. and i would like some. hence a cereal picnic. sunday i believe i am going to go hiking with Emily! so it should be a fun weekend! plus ya know, i've got school stuff too like tests to study for and papers to write but that'll come later! i'm off to meet with the american consulate from Lyon tonight with a bunch of other american students studying in grenoble, so i've gotta get ready!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A "Nice" Weekend in Nice... pardon the pun

Hey everybody! So it's Tuesday now, and i miss the south of france. it was delightful and warm and yeah, pretty much just delightful. i know you're also not supposed to use yummy to describe a place but i would also describe it as yummy. as per my norm i've included some photos that i took, i'll add more to the flickr thing cause blogger only allows for 5 which is so a design flaw. so i shall commence my weekend explanation now...
Here is the charming village of Saint Paul. Where Picasso and other famous people took up residence for some period of their lives. it is literally charming. there was a wall that encircled the entire village i guess you would call it. all of the streets were literally cobblestone. and really worn down which made me concerned for what they do when it rains. other than fall a lot. i had some super good pesto pasta in this village. pricey, but really yummy. and i had some ice cream which was vanilla cookie. also delicious. i love french food.
I'm fairly certain this shirt says it all and if i knew a baby to buy it for i would. cause it's priceless. it wouldn't actually be as priceless if the shirt were in english but the fact that it's in french and saying "no photos, no interviews please." just makes me die of happiness a little bit. i love France. and i love the fact that i found this is a little tiny village in france that picasso used to live in. picasso lived here and this is what they sell. it's priceless and amazing all at the same time! i love france!

whilst in Nice, aka the clever title of this post, we went to Monaco. Which i actually did not really understand or love, because frankly monaco is a strange place. if someone can tell me the point of monaco other than being an over priced apartment blip of not really being a country but not being part of france or italy. this however, is the casino where james bond chilled and got filmed during casino royale. so that's kind of cool. i might have stood where james stood. i so knew we were meant to be. just kidding. sorry, to those of you who don't know me, major james bond fan. i was pretty excited once i found out that this place existed in reality. there were valets and door openers and everything. and i am fairly certain that there was a dress code. that's right. no suit and tie, no gambling. sorry people. gotta look classy to gamble away your money. it got even prettier when it got dark and all the lights came on. i kept expecting daniel craig to walk out of nowhere and be all "names James, James Bond."
classic tourist photo. me and Nice. we find stairs that lead up to amazing views wherever we go in france and Nice was literally no different. i am pretty sure that every french town or city has a hill with some semblance of a fort on it. this might be a gross generalization but i'm pretty sure they were scared of the italians back in the day and wanted to make sure no one did any sneak attacking during the night. anyhow. nice was really really pretty. very nice beach even though the beach was not sand, it was rock. made beach lounging a tad bit more challenging but i still managed.
Here she be!!! Nice in all her glory! This photo doesn't even do the water justice. it was seriously the most blue thing i've ever seen. and amazingly clear. i have an underwater camera and took a bunch of funny pictures when i went swimming. they were clearer underwater then some of the pictures i've taken back home in the US. and it was an ocean. which means there was salt.

Alright, there's the end of my photo spread. quick city list. in 2.5 days i visited some city that i think was Sisteron, Nice, Est, Monaco, Monte Carlo (part of monaco), St. Paul, and Cannes. it was exhausting. and so much fun at the same time. and i get to go back down this coming weekend! yayyy for trips! i head to provence for the weekend on friday morning at 7:15am with AIFS! i am pumped. so i will have more pictures and more fun things to share after next weekend. until then, have a good week!